Papal Choir concert during Museum inauguration weekend
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The inauguration of the ERDF-supported Museum in Victoira: ‘Il-Hagar Heart of Gozo,’ which focuses on ‘The Making of a People’ through the perspective of the history of religions, will take place on Saturday, the 23rd of February by the Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi.
The innovative design concept for this Historical Museum and Cultural Centre were first shown in April 2011. The Project Co-ordinator is Mgr Guzeppi Farrugia.
The Museum will be exhibiting a large number of objects of historical and and artistic interest, with the history and identity of the area explained through the use of electronic and audio-visual techniques.
In addition the community will have a new area for exhibitions. This is because the centre will also contain space for temporary exhibitions as well as for conferences and seminars.
The Historical Museum and Cultural Centre is aimed at the cultural tourism niche but is also intended to help the Parish in its pastoral efforts, by for example permitting continued free access without hindering proper sacramental and liturgical functioning.
There will be a number of events taking place between Friday the 22nd and Sunday the 24th of February in celebration of this occasion.
The programme of the events for the weekend are shown below.Following an official request to H.E. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone sdb, Secretary of State of the Holy See, by H.L. Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo and Dean of the Collegiate Chapter in urbe, the famous Papal Choir Cappella Sistina will be performing a Concert of Sacred Motets at St George’s Basilica on the occasion of the celebrations to mark the museum’s inauguration.
Addressing his Choir, the Cappella Sistina, H.H. Benedict XVI asserted with his customary clarity and conciseness, that “…we are absolutely certain of one thing: the creative fecundity of the Faith will neither be exhausted before the end of time, nor before all the dimensions of the human spirit will be explored.”
Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria said that “the highly prestigious cultural-religious event will be the highlight of a series of high-powered, cultural-religious-educational initiatives. This unique concert, ‘Super Fundamentum Apostolorum,’ to be held on Saturday, the 23rd of February, featuring one of the top choirs in the world in its genre, will feature some of the greatest motets composed by the “Princeps Musicæ Sacræ,” Pier Luigi da Palestrina, such as Magnificat, Stabat Mater and Credo from the famous Missa Papæ Marcelli. Other outstanding composers whose works are being performed are Luca di Marenzio, Orlando di Lasso and Lorenzo Perosi.”
The Choir, considered as the first one of its kind, came into being in 590 at the express wishes of the Pope Gregory the Great. In 1471, the Choir was re-structured by H.H. Pope Sixtus VI, hence its appellation “Cappella Sistina”. It is the Pope’s official Choir and has been conducted by such all-time greats as Pier Luigi da Palestrina and Cristobal de Morales. Currently, the Choir is under the direction of Mgr Massimo Palombella sdb.
The Choir, and the entourage featuring prominent Vatican officials, is 72-strong. The Choir has contributed in no uncertain way towards projecting a rare style of interpretation which unites an artistic/aesthetic sensibility with a religious/spiritual one. Projecting a most endearing timbre and an unmistakable style, the Choir is the supreme ambassador of the power of beauty as a privileged vehicle of evangelisation.
Fondazzjoni Belt Victoria said that “This year being the Year of Faith, this superb religious-cultural initiative sets the wider ecclesial universal context. It is of a particular significance that the Musuem-cum-cultural-centre is being inaugurated within this context, as it wants to be an eloquent testimonial to the contemporaneity of the “past”: roots, like beauty, never grow old!”
The Choir last visited in 2006, when the Papal Choir performed a Concert of Sacred Motets in the Basilica under the direction of Mgr Giuseppe Liberto. On the occasion, the Papal Choir were visiting Malta, accompanied by the Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, to celebrate the Apostle of the Gentiles and Malta’s spiritual father, St Paul.